Bengaluru Buzz: Zonal budgets for BBMP? | Major reduction in traffic fines unlikely | Modified PRR approved…and more

Instead of having a single budget for all of BBMP, there could be separate budgets for the city's eight zones, BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar has proposed. Read more on news from the city this week, in our roundup

BBMP Commissioner proposes zonal budgets

BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar has suggested that the Palike can have separate budgets for each of its eight zones. Zonal budgets would help in decentralising powers, in release of funds and sanction of job codes, he said at the BBMP Council meeting last Wednesday.

Kumar’s proposal followed the chief minister’s recent decision to have BBMP’s four Special/Additional Commissioners oversee two zones each. In zonal matters, these officials would have the same powers as the commissioner.

The discussion on decentralisation began in the Council when corporators across party lines complained that files on emergency works, which had to be handed over to the Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Ltd (KRIDL), were being held up at the BBMP head office. They also complained about the lack of an e-filing system which forced them to follow the movement of files physically and to approach the Chief Financial Officer for sanction of job codes for works.

The council meeting also witnessed a wrangle over the delay in the release of funds for welfare programmes. Angry corporators accused officials of sitting on the files for more than six months, rendering most schemes ineffectual. They said welfare schemes under 15 programme heads had not taken off as joint commissioners were not interested in the proposals they had submitted.

Meanwhile, after a delay of six years, BBMP tabled its annual administration report for 2012-13. Though Section 81 of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act mandates corporations to submit their annual reports every April, BBMP had not submitted its reports for the past six years, said Deputy Mayor B Bhadre Gowda. Releasing the reports from 2012-13 to 2014-15, Gowda said that reports for the past three financial years could not be tabled as officials were yet to provide details.

Source: The Hindu | Deccan Herald

Traffic fines may only reduce marginally 

There may not be a huge reduction in the penalties for traffic violations under the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act. According to sources in the secretariat, fines may be reduced for only a few violations that come under the purview of state government, such as rash driving, not carrying registration, DL or insurance papers.

Penalties for just five violations may be revised now, and decision on other penalties will be made only after getting legal opinion. The state’s legal department is yet to give an opinion on whether Karnataka can revise penalties as done by the Gujarat government; centre is also studying the legality of Gujarat government’s notification, the source said.

Meanwhile, Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao announced that the city’s traffic warden force would be increased from 390 to 2500. He requested the city’s volunteers to join as traffic wardens.

Source: The Hindu | Indian Express

Cabinet clears modified PRR project 

The Karnataka Cabinet approved the modified Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) project in Bengaluru, specifying that compensation would be paid to the land losers. The project is estimated to cost Rs 11,950 crore. Of this, Rs 8,100 cr has been approved for land acquisition, and Rs 3,850 cr for developing the road.

To those who own less than two acres of land, compensation would be paid as per the 2013 Land Acquisition Act. Those who lose more than two acres would receive compensation for 50 percent of the land as per the 2013 Act, and Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) for the remaining land.

The PRR would link half the city’s western-eastern-southern suburbs. This 65-km road would have width of 100 metres. Once completed, PRR would link Tumakuru Road and Hosur Road through Bellary Road and Old Madras Road. There is no space for commercial activities in the PRR, Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwathnarayan has said.

Source: The Hindu

HC gives BBMP 10 days to entrust lake study to NEERI

Noting the delay in appointing the CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Institute (NEERI) for an in-depth study of Bengaluru lakes, the High Court directed BBMP to execute the agreement with NEERI in 10 days. BBMP also has to pay the funds for the study to NEERI within this deadline.

Court had asked BBMP to entrust NEERI with the study, back in June. Court’s orders are in response to a PIL filed in 2014, on the lack of maintenance of stormwater drains and lakes in Bengaluru.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) submitted to HC that only 1654 PoP (Plaster of Paris) Ganesha idols were immersed in lakes on September 2nd. These idols make up only 0.086 percent of the 1.9 lakh idols immersed that day. The Board attributed this to awareness drives and precautions taken by state agencies to avoid PoP idol immersion.

Source: The Hindu 

KIA world’s fastest growing airport

In 2018, the fastest growing airport in the world was the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA). It topped the list of aerodromes that had more than 15 million annual passengers, according to the latest World Airport Report of the Airports Council International (ACI).

KIA catered to 32.33 million passengers last year, recording 29.1 percent annual growth. Second on the list was Turkey’s Antalya Airport, which grew by 22.1 percent. Having catered to 20.9 million passengers, Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport came third with 21.9 percent growth.

Source: Deccan Herald

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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